This study investigated persuasive strategies used in ancient Egypt and ancient China. In an effort to attain a better understanding of the utilization of persuasive tools from these two ancient societies, this study was completed by examining Ptahhotep's Maxims from Egypt and Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching from China. A thematic analysis revealed the most common themes found in Ptahhotep's Maxims (e.g., humility) and Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching (e.g., comparison). A content analysis examined persuasive tactics within passages of both texts. It was found that Ptahhotep principally utilized negative expertise and loss-framed messages while Lao Tzu utilized positive expertise and gain-framed messages. An analysis of the results revealed no significant differences of persuasive tactics between both ancient texts.
Communication and Media Technologies (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Communication (CLA)
Skelton, Joel, "Persuasion in Antiquity: A Content Analysis of Ptahhotep’s Maxims and Lao Tzŭ’s Tao Te Ching" (2013). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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